Compounded drugs are medications where bulk ingredients are mixed together by a pharmacist, as opposed to a commercial drug that is approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and manufactured under the FDA’s monitoring. When an FDA-approved drug becomes available, the FDA forbids the same medication to be compounded. This is the case with Mirataz (mirtazapine transdermal ointment), which is applied to the inner surface of a cat’s ear to manage undesired weight loss.
Prior to the approval and availability of Mirataz, some veterinarians used a compounded drug. With Mirataz’s approval, that can no longer be done, and veterinarians are required to prescribe the FDA-approved Mirataz, manufactured by Kindred Biosciences.
Compounded drugs can be a solution when a specific ingredient or medication is not available as an FDA-approved drug, but these medications are not “reviewed by the FDA for safety or effectiveness and may vary in quality and potency.”